Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Time and Seasonal Depression

Time is just slipping by. I've had a couple of reminders lately just how quickly time can slip through our fingers. There are only about 3 weeks left until J and I move, and we have barely gotten started on the whole packing things up process. I will say I took the first initiative this past weekend by going through all of the clothes in my closet and putting in plastic bags the clothes I no longer use. We dropped them off at the Myrorna boxes at our usual recycling station outside of Coop. Myrorna, for those of you who don't know, is a second hand store where they sell all things donated to them. It's basically like The Salvation Army in the US. It's nice having an emptier (more empty?) and more organized closet now! Plus it's just that much less stuff to move when the time comes.

Another reminder that time flies is that one year ago today I began SFI. It's incredible to think back to one year ago and compare it to today. My Swedish skills then were virtually zilch, and now I would say I'm practically fluent. To reflect on what one is able to do with dedication in one year's time is really something.

On another note, it's gotten noticeably colder in the last couple of days, and thus the snowfall that occurred over the weekend hasn't melted at all. I am a champion of the idea "if it's going to be cold and grey, it might as well feel like winter and look like it too, that being snow that stays on the ground." Finally I've been granted my wish, at least for the time being.

That being said, I believe that I have something that afflicts many people here in Sweden, or the North in general: seasonal depression. I think in my case it comes and goes, even within a 24 hour period. Because we are pretty far north, during the darkest time of year in December (here in Skövde) the sun rises around 9:00 and it's down again by 3:00 (15:00). While the sun is up, most often the sky is nothing but a giant mass of anonymous grey. So even while there is what little light we get, it's most often depressingly overcast. Now, I contend that if there is cheery, enchanting snow on the ground it lightens everything up, so I've been pretty pleased with my surroundings recently. Yesterday I enjoyed immensely what little time the sun decided to show its lovely face; it was out for a good portion of the afternoon. Whenever it comes out I feel like a lizard basking in the sun because I just simply gravitate to it. It's very common here for the sun to peek out maybe for 30 minutes or an hour, and then the tyranny of the clouds resumes. It's almost like the sun is fighting a very, very slow uphill battle. We know in the end it will be victorious and all the pretty flowers will bloom in May. And then in June it will be up for nearly 20 hours of the day. But alas, until then I shall take what pleasure I can get out of cheery, here-to-stay-with-the-cold-temperatures-snow.


Anonymous said...

Hi Jessica!

Loved the post, its always nice to read something you can relate to. 1) Love Myrorna, haven't donated but I love to look around, even if I am often resisting the urge to buy a lot of things.
2) Thats the best first step, donating clothing was all I did when I moved to Sweden- maybe 10 large trash bags of it! I couldn't imagine how terrible packing would have been otherwise! 3) It is so wonderful to hear what progress you've made in SFI! That's exciting to know, I can't wait to start.
The darkness is a bit hard to handle (More so for you, being further North) and the snow does actually help a lot. Even if its dark out its good to get out, just in case the sun comes out. Where will you be moving?

Megalagom ~SomethingSwedish.wordpress.com

Jessica said...


We're moving to Gothenburg. What area do you live in?

And yes, before I moved over I donated at least 5 trash bags of clothes in the US!

SFI was a great ground to start on, I finished back in the end of August, and have been doing Korta Vägen at the local college. You can Google it I'm sure if you're more interested about it. When will you be starting SFI?

Angela said...

Hi Jessica!

Just wanted to say hi! I've been reading your blog for quite some time now but I have never responded. I like your writing and reading about your adventures. I'n hoping you'll get to work for Volvo. You seem to be very determined and ambitious so you will be just fine! :)
I am from Holland originally but am married to a Swede :) We have lived in Ireland for some years but are now living in cozy Småland for over the past 5 years.
I'm gonna continue reading your blog of couse! The best of luck! :)